from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The act of shaping or forming in advance; prior formation.
- n. A theory popular in the 18th century that all parts of an organism exist completely formed in the germ cell and develop only by increasing in size.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Prior formation.
- n. The theory that organisms are fully developed in the form of an egg or seed, and just increase in size (as opposed to epigenesis.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. An old theory of the preëxistence of germs. Cf. emboîtement.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Antecedent formation; shaping in advance.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a theory (popular in the 18th century and now discredited) that an individual develops by simple enlargement of a tiny fully formed organism (a homunculus) that exists in the germ cell
From pre- + formation. (Wiktionary)